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Itinerary Thailand,Laos and Cambodia

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My husband and I are planning this trip around our week at The Elephant Nature Park which is located outside of Chiang Mai so one needs to be there the night before and would be dropped off there mid day the following Sunday. We are wondering what people think about this itinerary:

Arrive Bangkok stay 3 nights
Arrive Chiang Mai mid day stay 1 night
Elephant Nature Park (6 nights)
Return to Chiang Mai mid day stay 1 night
Fly to Luang Prabang stay 3 nights
Fly to Siem Reap stay 3 nights
Fly to Phnom Penh stay 3 nights

Do you feel there is enough time in these places?
Any advice on guides, mode of travel, clothing ...anything!

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    Remember that 3 nights is just two full days. It takes three full days just to visit the major temples at Angkor and if you re really interested in the temples you will want more time. Get a copy of Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples to prepare for your visit. It will help you decide how much time to spend there.

    I also think you don't have enough time in Luang Prabang. You have to really slow down to experience the place. This isn't a place to rush around checking places off a list. Instead, it is place to linger, talking with novices and monks and chatting with locals.

    We spent a week each in Siem Reap and Luang Prabang and that was about the right amount of time for us, though we loved both places and would have enjoyed even more time there.

    You have enough time in PP, IMO.

    You will want to fly from place to place unless you have no time constraints. You will need to return to Bangkok to fly to Luang Prabang. Or, you could take a boat trip from outside of Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang on several different types of boats, ranging from very, very basic to luxury.

    Transport: Take a look at the Discovery Pass from Bangkok Airways. You need to fly three segments to qualify. Details on their website. Bangkok Air serves both Siem Reap and Luang Prabang, as well as serving many places in Thailand. Also, don't hesitate to hire a car and driver as needed, as it is a very economical way to travel in S Asia.

    Guides: I am not a fan of using guides, I prefer to do my own research and be able to enjoy the quiet and solitude of these lovely places. There are plenty of guides available for Angkor if you choose not to study up on the temples. You hotel can help you arrange one. You will need both a guide and a driver.

    I can see no reason to use a guide in Luang Prabang. We did use a driver one day, when we visited both sets of waterfalls and a Hmong village.

    Clothing: You will want light clothing that breathes - it will be hot and humid.

    What time of the year are you planning this trip?

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    Excluding the Elephant Park, I think you have about the right time in each place. As Kathie suggests, you could spend a lot longer exploring the temples of Angkor but only if you are seriously interested in temples, other wise two full days would suffice to see the main sights.

    Luang Prabang is very compact and the main sights can be seen in a day. Many are welcome worth visiting twice, say at dawn and dusk, especially if interested in photography. Three days would be about right in the context of your overall trip.

    I like Chang Mai, many other do not, but I wonder whether you need to include it at all. Tim etch flights fright and it would be entire possible to reach the E
    Elephant Park on your day of arrival, thus freeing up a couple of nights to add on elsewhere.

    Phnom Penh is a fascinating city with a lot to see and some great food. If you could free up a couple of days, you could add in a side trip to Kampot a 2 hour car ride away.

    You don't mention what time of year you are visiting but be aware that the burning season usually happens from late Feb to April and can cause widespread smog over the region which can be very unpleasant. If you can, plan your trip for Dec- Feb or the oft ignored rainy season

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